Mental Health Issues in Latinos/Hispanics


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Learn the signs and symptoms of the most common mental health diagnoses in Latinos/Hispanics. Be culturally competent when you work with families from a different ethnicity, race, religion, etc.

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Mental Health Issues in Latinos/Hispanics

  1. 1. MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AMONGHISPANICS/LATINOS Latinos in Social Media March 29, 2012 Carlos Martinez, MHA, M.Ed.
  2. 2. Latino Population in the USUnited States Estimate PercentTotal Population 308,745,538 100Latinos/Hispanics 50,477,594 16.3% of total population in USMexican 31,798,258 63.0% of total Hispanics in USPuerto Rican 4,623,716 9.2% of total Hispanics in USCuban 1,785,547 3.5% of total Hispanics in USOther 12,270,073 24.3% of totalHispanic/Latino Hispanics in USSource: Year2010
  3. 3. Demographics in North CarolinaNorth Carolina Population PercentTotal Population 9,535,483 100.0• Latino/Hispanic 800,120 8.39% of total population in NC• Mexican 486,960 5.10% of total population in NC• Puerto Rican 71,800 0.75% of total population in NC• Salvadorians 37,778 0.39% of total population in NC• Cuban 18,079 0.18% of total population in NC• Other Hispanic or 185,503 1.94% of total Latino population in NCSource: 3Year 2010
  4. 4. Mental Health Definition: A state of emotional and psychological well- being in which an individual is able to use his or her cognitive and emotional capabilities, function in society, and meet the ordinary demands of everyday life.
  5. 5. Common issues among Latinos Stress Depression Anxiety Disorders Alcoholism
  6. 6. What is stress? A physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Stress is an unavoidable effect of living. It has been linked to mental and physical problems.
  7. 7. Causes of Stress Death of a loved one Lack of documents $$$ - more or less Acculturation process Health issues Family conflicts Alcohol/Drug abuse Parent/Child relationships Bullying Lack of work / Financial issues Life changes (marriage, baby, new job, etc)
  8. 8. Consequences of Stress Over time, unattended stress can lead to: Ulcers Chemical Cancer dependencies Mental High blood Illness pressure Heart Attacks/Strokes
  9. 9. Common Mental Health Disordersamong Latinos/Hispanics Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Depression Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Alcoholism
  10. 10. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Restlessness Feeling nervous or on edge/tense Feeling a lump in your throat Difficulty concentrating Fatigue Irritability Impatience
  11. 11. GAD Symptoms Being easily distracted Muscle tension Trouble falling or staying asleep Excessive sweating Shortness of breath Stomachache Diarrhea Headache
  12. 12. Symptoms of Depression Loss of interest in normal daily activities Feeling sad or down Feeling hopeless Crying spells for no apparent reason Problems sleeping Trouble focusing or concentrating Difficulty making decisions Unintentional weight gain or loss
  13. 13. Symptoms of Depression Irritability Restlessness Being easily annoyed Feeling fatigued or weak Feeling worthless Loss of interest in sex Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
  14. 14. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. Recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: in children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content. Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including those that occur upon awakening). Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event. Physiological reactivity upon exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
  15. 15. PTSD Symptoms (DSM-IV-TR) Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others Restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings) Sense of foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)
  16. 16. Alcoholism This is a disease that affects all areas of the person. Biological, psychological, and social factors interact to produce illness. Bio-Psycho-Social Disease
  17. 17. Alcoholism / Alcohol Abuse Drinking alone or in secret Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol Not remembering conversations or commitments, sometimes referred to as "blacking out" Losing interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring pleasure Feeling a need or compulsion to drink Keeping alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work or in the car Becoming intoxicated intentionally to feel good or drinking to feel "normal" Having legal problems or problems with relationships, employment or finances Building a tolerance to alcohol so that you need an increasing number of drinks to feel alcohols effects Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms — such as nausea, sweating and shaking — if you dont drink
  18. 18. Barriers to Mental Health andSubstance Abuse Services There are 20 Latino mental health professionals for every 100,000 Latinos in the US Less than 1 in 20 Latinos with mental disorders use services from a mental health specialist Fewer than 1 in 11 Latinos contact mental health care specialists to seek treatment Latinos’ reluctance to utilize mental health services: “No se lava la ropa en casa ajena” (One must not wash one’s dirty clothes in someone else’s home).
  19. 19. Reasons why Latinos are not receivingMH/SA services No health care coverage / low income Lack of knowledge about services available Language barrier Fear of agencies and entities Stigma associated with mental illness/substance abuse Believe in supernatural forces Ethnic and racial prejudice
  20. 20. Outreach Newspapers, magazines (i.e. Hola Noticias, TV Guia) Radio programs (Norsan Multimedia 1310 AM and 1060 AM) Internet (i.e., Facebook) Lectures and seminars (i.e., faith-based organizations, Latino agencies) Police Department (CMPD): Child Development – Community Policing program
  21. 21. Know Anyone That Needs Services? MECKLENBURG COUNTY AREA MENTAL HEALTH MeckLINK (704) 336-6404
  22. 22. References  U.S. Bureau of the Census (2010). U.S. interim projections by age, race, and Hispanic origin. Retrieved January 11, 2010, from  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Office of the Surgeon General (2001). Mental Health Care for Hispanic Americans. In mental health: Culture, race, and ethnicity. A supplement to mental health: A report of the Surgeon General. SAMHSA.  Williams, S. & Kohout, J.L. (1999). A survey of licensed practitioners of psychology: Activities, roles, and services. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 22
  23. 23. Questions?THANK YOU! ¡GRACIAS!